What’s new in the latest version of React Native v0.6x

Facebook recently released the latest version of React Native. Let’s deep dive into the highlights of the new version v0.66 along with the previous versions changes. In 2021, React Native was the second most used framework after Flutter.

Facebook started the React Native era. In the beginning it was not so popular, but when the trend of cross-platform app development started gaining momentum, React Native became popular. Since then it has become the most popular framework to develop, code, and deploy the mobile applications for iOS and Android. Recently Facebook has released a new version with lots of new updates. So let’s get to see the best highlights.

What’s new with React Native v0.6x

The past few versions of React Native have come up with new features, fixes, and also dependency updates. We will see them below in detail.

Support for Hermes has improved

React Native version 0.64 has introduced the support for Hermes for iOS, which was improved for more accessibility in the next version which is 0.65. The recently released version 0.66 introduced Hermes 0.9.0 and provided more compatibility with the latest React Native version. It also included memory improvements and many other enhancements.

Hermes is an open-source JavaScript-based engine that improves the performance of React Native by reducing the memory consumption, download size, and time taken for the app to become interactive.

Compatibility with XCode 13, and iOS 15

The latest version provides better compatibility for XCode and Apple silicon M1 chipset for applications to build for iOS. This update also includes a Cocoapods workaround. This is not a tricky task to integrate this change, only need to have __apply_Xcode_12_5_M1_post_install_workaround(installer), in the Podfile. Also, to prevent arm64 linker failure, RCT-Folly.podspec has been updated.

Nightly and “Commitly” Releases

In the past days, React Native has been publishing releases regularly but they were not in demand and haven’t been used effectively. They wanted to make the React Native framework more stable so they are working hard to improve the release process. They are working on reducing the bugs in the release process.

Handle Taps

React Native new update can better handle taps on child views outside of the parent area on the Android. This is a common use-case and aligns React Native on Android more closely with web standards.

New Bluetooth Permission

React Native 0.66 now comes up with the new bluetooth permission for Android 12. Also, they will update the targetSDK version to 31 in the next release soon.

Enabling Inline Requires

This feature was introduced in the version 0.64. It was mainly brought up to improve the startup time by delaying the JavaScript modules until they are used. React Native version 0.64 introduces this feature by default for new applications with improved performance.

Some other version upgrades and fixes as mentioned by Facebook are as below-

  • OkHttp version upgraded from v3 to 4.9.1 in React Native version 0.65
  • Flipper version upgraded to 0.93 to support XCode 12.5.
  • Android Gradle plugin 7 support has been introduced.
  • The React Native version 0.65 also removed JCenter as a maven repository and updated dependencies to MavenCentral.
  • Now, devDependency in the package.json needs the react-native-codegen version 0.0.7.
  • The latest version of React Native fixed the appearance API in Android.
  • The AppCompatDelegate.setDefaultNightMode() has also been fixed in the latest version.

These were the major updates of the React Native latest version along with the past release version in 2021. They will also release many improvements soon to make the React Native platform more stable. There are also many more features/updates added in the latest version apart from the above. Check here to explore them in detail.

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